Shaw prepares for semester at MHS
By CHUCK CLEMENT, Staff Reporter
Taking the reins of a high school having a few hundred students provides enough of a challenging task, but Adam Shaw also has a school building currently filled with construction workers who are busy getting it ready for classes that start in three weeks.|
Shaw officially started as the new principal at Madison High School at the beginning of August. However, he got into MHS's temporary administrative offices a few days early. All of the administrators are currently working on the north side of the school building until their new offices are ready for use.
The work is part of a $14.5 million renovation and construction project at the high school that will provide some new classrooms, a new gym, larger band and vocal music areas and other improvements. The administrators could move into their new offices near the school's front entrance "hopefully this week," Shaw said.
He also noted that most of the building efforts are concentrated on finishing the classrooms. Converting the area that was once occupied by the high school library was one of the tasks in the final phase of the construction plans. According to Shaw, the old library renovation work is on schedule.
"The most important part of the plan is to have all of the classrooms done," Shaw said. "When classes start for the semester, we need that space for the students."
Whether the music rooms for the band and chorus programs are finished -- well, that part requires a contingency plan. The high school band and chorus may need to start the school year practicing indoors at the Madison Middle School. The high school musicians and singers also had to use the middle school practice areas last year.
Shaw has the attitude that the temporary arrangements shouldn't cause too many headaches, especially if everyone sees that the end of construction is near.
"This is really a new experience for me," Shaw said about the construction project.
For the last three years, Shaw held the school superintendent's position in the Marion School District. Before that, he was the Marion High School principal and technology coordinator, and then principal and activities director for a total of four years. The Marion public schools have about 220 students enrolled in grades K-12.
Despite the size, Shaw doesn't see much difference as far as education programs, since Marion had ag and consumer science courses. However, Madison's ProStart culinary curriculum -- a course on commercial cooking similar to food preparation at restaurants -- is something new.
"The ProStart program is something new and a little different for me, but I think it's something unique for the students here, too," Shaw said.
He applied for the principal's job partly because he is familiar with the Madison Central School District. Shaw attended Dakota State University from 1995 to 2000, playing football for the Trojans. His wife, Kate Weber Shaw, is an MHS graduate.
After studying at DSU, he earned masters degrees in education administration and technology integration from the University of Sioux Falls. Shaw also received an education specialist degree from USF.
The Shaws have three children -- son Brandon, in seventh grade, and two daughters, McKenna in third grade and Daveney in first grade.
According to Shaw, he's visited MHS on a monthly basis since taking the principal's position and went through introductions with the faculty and staff.
"I also knew quite a few of them beforehand," he said.
Shaw said that some of his attention in the coming months will go toward getting to know more of the students and their parents. He knows that many parents will have questions about the Common Core State Standards that most public schools are planning to implement. Forty-five states have decided to participate in the Common Core program currently organized for teaching math and English at each grade level.
"(Common Core) won't change any of our graduation requirements, but the instruction in the classroom will look a little different," Shaw said. "Part of the program has students taking a greater role in achieving their education."
The Common Core system will also use a new testing system called Smarter Balanced, assessments that are computer based.
©Madison Daily Leader 2013
Send us your community news, events, letters to the editor and other suggestions. Now, you can submit birth, wedding and engagement announcements online too!
Copyright © 1995 - 2013 madisonet.com All Rights Reserved.